On-campus recruiters look past school-related stereotypes
Students with different backgrounds might have different experiences once they are working at the company
September 19, 2012, 11:47 pm·
During On-Campus Recruiting, many become more conscious of the undergraduate school listed at the top of the resume.
However, internal stereotypes between Whartonites, engineers, nurses and College students may not register with recruiters as much as students may think.
Director of Career Services Patricia Rose said that with the 12 schools at Penn, it would be unfair to stereotype people according to the school they are in.
“There are students in each of the schools who are good in quantitative skills, and some in soft skills,” Rose said. “Students in all schools would score highly on both those extremes.”
Most firms look to recruit a diverse mix of candidates, regardless of schools or stereotypes.
“For any candidate, we think about it across a number of different aspects — what their education experience has been, what their work experience has been and a lot of this factors into their resume and comes out in interview,” Joseph Puthenveetil, an associate at the Raine Group said. “We don’t bucket people necessarily into engineering school or Wharton.”
Regardless of undergraduate background, a firm administers the same training programs to all its employees. This allows them to employ candidates with a wide range of skill sets.
“We give training to all newly hired employees,” Jillian Gray, a New York recruiting associate at Bain & Company, said. “This evens the playing field, so everyone’s on the same page.”
However, students with different backgrounds might have different experiences once they are working or interning at the company.
“I would sometimes get jokes — like, if there is a computer problem, they would call me,” said Engineering and Wharton junior Frederick Abiprabowo, who plans to graduate in December 2013. He studies computer science and interned at a bank over the summer. “I was known as being their very own internal tech guy in the office.”
Abiprabowo said among his intern class of business students, he was the only one who was also studying computer science.
However, Abiprabowo said that the jokes were in good humour, and that recruiters “don’t really differentiate between schools.” This openness to all types of candidates is mainly dependent on the type of firms and the recruiting style of a particular field.
“It depends on the position they are applying to — we have a technology position, so the applicants there tend to be more engineers rather than Wharton or College students,” said a recruiter at a top consulting firm who has interviewed Penn students for the past few years. “For our analyst position, more Wharton students would apply there.”
Engineering and Wharton junior Kevin Zhao said that while stereotypes are prevalent on campus, he personally believes that “they are just not true.”
“Just having conversations over dinner, I can tell that different students from every school have distinct interests outside of their courses,” Zhao said.
However, Zhao said there may be a belief that financial services companies only recruit a specific type of student, whereas newer tech-based companies are more flexible.
Ultimately, it’s in the interview that students have a chance to go beyond the resume, regardless of stereotypes.
“In the room, you’re going to have the sufficient problem-solving and communication skills and teamwork skills to convince the recruiter that you would be a good hire,” Rose said.